The Portland Timbers celebrate after the club’s 1-0 win over LAFC in the Quarterfinals of the 2019 US Open Cup. Photo: Twitter @TimbersFC
Whether or not its interim coach wants to admit it, Portland Timbers FC got a measure of revenge at the Banc.
Jeremy Ebobisse scored a late goal as Timbers FC took to the road and defeated Los Angeles FC, 1-0, Wednesday night in a 2019 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Quarterfinal Round game at Banc of California Stadium.
“Last year is last year. This is a new competition and this was an important game for us,” said Timbers FC assistant coach Carlos Llamosa, who was placed in charge of the team in the absence of Gio Savarese.
Ebobisse scored the game-winning goal to finish off a counter attack in the 86th minute as Portland erased memories of a 3-2 loss at LAFC in the USOC quarterfinals last year.
“The guys responded well, did a great job, and there is a good feeling right now,” Llamosa said. “We’re taking it game by game, and now we know that we’ll face Minnesota with a chance to get to the final.”
Portland is unbeaten in its last seven games across all competitions and now will play Minnesota United FC in the Semifinals as the Timbers seek to become the first Oregon club in tournament history to win the tournament. The date and location of the Semifinal will be announced at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday by the US Soccer Federation.
Carlos Vela was held without a shot for LAFC, which finished with only one shot on goal in losing for the first time in this month.
“I don’t think we had our best night,” Bob Bradley said. “We had to handle some tough moments defensively (and) tonight was a hard-fought game.”
LAFC was buoyed by the return of center back Walker Zimmerman from international duty, and goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega had two point-blank saves in the first half and made another with 15 minutes left in the game to keep the game scoreless.
“Just one of those nights when you look at the goal that was scored, and it was just a ridiculous goal. It left us scrambling,” Zimmerman said.
Following a save by Sisniega at the north end, Sebastian Blanco sprung Portland on a counter attack, sending a cross through LAFC’s backline and to the feet of Ebobisse, who crossed it back across the face of the goal and into the side netting.
“We were unlucky today,” LAFC’s Mark-Anthony Kaya said. “They got a lucky bounce and put the ball in the back of the net.”
In 10 previous matches at Banc of California Stadium in 2019, LAFC had not been shutout and had scored at least two goals in eight of the games, and four or more goals in four games. Also, the announced crowd of 18,947 was a Modern Era (1995-present) record for the Quarterfinals. The previous record was 17,898 set last year when the same two teams met at Banc of California Stadium.